Advice for a Youngster

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Young Trumpeter, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Young Trumpeter

    Young Trumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2006
    Mr. McCandless,

    I'm a junior in high school. I'm a very serious trumpet student, practicing every day and taking as many oppurtunities to play as i can. My goal is to major in music education in college and eventually become a band teacher. As far as the trumpet is concerned, is there any general advice you can give? Anything from preferable mouthpieces to practice ideas?

    Thanks, and welcome to TM
  2. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Remember that most anyone can make noise with the trumpet. Many even learn to play in a limited musical way. It takes much more to be a musician; to be a teacher. However, one does not need to be the best player to be a very good teacher or director.

    It appears to me that many of todays players think that one must play super high (G, A even dblC) to be called a trumpet player. Not true my friend. Most music for trumpet is written below high C with much of it still it the staff. Heck, when I was your age, I didn't even know what double high C looked like, let alone sound like. I never saw it in high school.

    Learn the fundamentals, practice, don't push too hard, rest twice as long as you play. Develop your tone. Pick a player whose sound you like and then develop your own version of that sound. Learn to articulate. Learn how to phrase. Learn all the keys. Scales. Lip slurrs. Do these until your friends threaten you with deportation or something.

    A mouthpiece? That is a personal decision. You should take the recommendation of your teacher. For a starter mouthpiece, go as large as you can but retain all the other atributes you have developed along the way.

    Don't get hung up on equipment right now. There will be plenty time for that later when you will be able to make an educated decision and hopefully afford the equipment.

    Listen. Don't talk during lessons unless you ask a question or a question is asked of you. Learn by listening. Albums, CDs and tapes. Spend your evenings at the library listening to music when not practicing.

    I hope this helps a little. Good luck to you with your studies.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  3. nplotts1

    nplotts1 Fortissimo User

    Aug 5, 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Start trying to learn standard literature now. It is in our nature as trumpet players to be egotistical, don't be, unless you really are just that good; when you get to college, you aren't as good as you think you are. If you havent started already, get private lessons. A lot of parents and student think that it is just more money you have to spend. I can tell you first hand, I wish I would have had $10/hr lessons in highschool, then I could have possibly gotten a scholarship and saved 10x's the amount, not to mention you have more respect from the other trumpet players if you come in and know how to play the right way.
  4. administrator

    administrator Administrator Staff Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    Guys, In the future please wait for Andrew to answer and then throw your .02 in. This goes for all of the Artist Forums. If someone asks a question directed to Andrew, Wilmer, Ed, Tony or Ingird in their forum wait for their response!
  5. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

    Feb 17, 2008
    Hi Aaron,
    You have gotten some great advice so far in this forum. What I would suggest is that you really focus on two major things.

    When we are young we tend to do whatever it takes to get the notes to happen, especially high notes. The problem is that can sometimes lead to bad habits in your playing that can be hard to break. Things like tension in your body, and or too much mouthpiece pressure. Try to always stay relaxed and patient. The high notes will get there if you give it time. I'm not sure if you are taking lessons, but if you aren't and you can I would try to get that going. A good teacher can help guide you away from bad habits.

    The second thing I would suggest you do is learn how to really enjoy the music you are playing. Learn how to make beautiful phrases by listening to great recordings and try to copy them. At first they will be borrowed ideas, but in time you will develop your own style.

    I hope this is helpful. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
    Schwab likes this.
  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    If I had a time traveling DeLorean, this is what I would fix in my own life! I got screwed up after my braces came off in high school (I had great chops before, ironically).

    Good fundamentals and great phrasing...that's great advice!

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